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Car of mom who vanished 23 years ago found with human remains in Arkansas

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The car of a woman who, along with her daughter, disappeared 23 years ago was found this week in Arkansas with human remains inside, authorities said.

Adventures With Purpose, a nonprofit group that aims to solve cold cases around the country, found the car of Samantha Jean Hopper on Tuesday in eight feet of water, according to a statement from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.

Hopper was reported missing on Sept. 11, 1998.

Samantha Hopper was reported missing on Sept. 11, 1998. (Remembering Samantha Hopper & Courtney Holt via Facebook)

Samantha Hopper was reported missing on Sept. 11, 1998. (Remembering Samantha Hopper & Courtney Holt via Facebook)

“Samantha was reported to have been traveling to drop her daughter, Courtney Holt, off before continuing on to a concert in Little Rock; however, Samantha, her daughter, and her blue Ford Tempo were never located,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement.

The car was submerged in eight feet of water when the nonprofit group discovered it. The human remains in the car will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for DNA testing, according to officials.

“The Pope County Sheriff’s Office would like to send our sincere condolences to the family of Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt, and we are thankful to have been a small part of helping bring this 23-year-old case to closure,” the agency said.

Deputies in Pope County, Ark., say a vehicle matching the description of one tied to a 23-year-old missing persons cases was found Oct. 26, 2021, with human remains inside. (Pope County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies in Pope County, Ark., say a vehicle matching the description of one tied to a 23-year-old missing persons cases was found Oct. 26, 2021, with human remains inside. (Pope County Sheriff’s Office)

Hopper’s daughter, Dezarea, wrote on a memorial page that her mother was nine months pregnant when she went missing. Dezarea’s sister was about 2. Dezarea said the discovery of their remains was a “relief.”

In a statement, Adventures With Purpose added, “Samantha and her 2 babies have now been brought home.”

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